TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: City of Pensacola
c/o Roger Williams
2757 North Palafox Street
Pensacola, FL 32501
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Bayou Texar. The project is located within six areas of Bayou Texar, in Section 1, Township 2 South, Range 30 West and Sections 2, 5, 7 and 8, Township 2 South, Range 29 West, Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: The project sites are located north of downtown Pensacola, along the shoreline of Bayou Texar, at the western terminus of El Cerrito Place, at Bayview Park, at the eastern terminus of DeSoto Street, on the north side of Rooks Marina, and at the eastern terminus of Lloyd Street.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
El Cerrito Place: Latitude: 30.454551º North, Longitude: 87.201963º West
Bayview Park: Latitude: 30.431697º North, Longitude: 87.189610º West
East DeSoto Street: Latitude: 30.427806º North, Longitude: 87.190856º West
Rooks Marina: Latitude: 30.427730º North, Longitude: 87.186967º West
Lloyd Street: Latitude: 30.430282º North, Longitude: 87.191445º West
Seville Drive: Latitude: 30.450311º North, Longitude: 87.193726º West
Overall: Dredge accumulated sediments and debris from existing outfalls in Bayou Texar, in Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The subject sites consist of six existing outfall structures with sediment and debris that accumulated as a result of intense rainfalls and flooding associated with Hurricane Sally (2020). The Seville Drive outfall has a large, deep scour hole on the landward side of the accumulated sediment. The sites are primarily surrounded by Bayou Texar and residential development and associated infrastructure. There is emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation in the vicinity of the projects (as shown on the drawings).
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to maintenance dredge accumulated sediments and debris from six (6) existing stormwater outfalls and fill in two (2) associated scour holes. A total of 1,010 cubic yards of material would be dredged from a total of 1.45 acres. This area includes impacts to a total of 0.24 acre of native emergent and submerged wetland vegetation, consisting of Phragmites australis (8245 square feet), Vallisneria amercana (941 square feet), Juncus roemerianus (811 square feet), and Ruppia maritima (714 square feet). The site would be mechanically dredged to -0 feet to -4.6 feet MLW (varies per site) and discharged into one of two upland dredged material disposal cells (near the mouth of Bayou Texar and the Pensacola Airport), with no return water to waters of the United States. Two hundred-sixty (260) cubic yards of material dredged from the Seville Drive outfall would be used to fill the adjacent scour hole (the original location of the material). Ten (10) cubic yards of material would be used to fill a 915 square foot scour hole adjacent to the Lloyd Street outfall.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION: The applicant has provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment: “The proposed activities are limited to those necessary to restore the environment back to those conditions that existed prior to the storm (particularly Hurricane Sally) and that will allow the existing stormwater management system to function as originally designed. The proposed activities include those necessary to maintain an existing stormwater management system. Dredging activities are focused on the removal of alluvial fans deposited from translocation of sediments from uplands and the existing stormwater management system during the intense rainfalls and flooding in direct response to Hurricane Sally.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: “Impacts are limited to emergent vegetation that has colonized these areas of sediment following its deposition into the bayou. These are early colonizers that mainly include common reed (Phragmites austrailis) but there area that contains limited amounts of saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), black needle rush (Juncus roemerianus), and tapegrass (Vallisneria americana). Again, impacts are solely within areas of the bayou that were infilled from erosion and deposition of sediments from a singular storm event. The overall goal is to restore the submersed areas of the bayou adjacent to each outfall to the condition that existed prior to the storm. In our opinion, impacts will be temporary and emergent wetland conditions will continue to persist as they did prior to the storm.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is evaluating the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This public notice serves to inform the public of the proposed undertaking and invites comments including those from local, State, and Federal government Agencies with respect to historic resources. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts may be subject to additional coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and other interested parties.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the proposed project may affect, but would not likely adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) as determined using the April 2013 Manatee Key, following couplets A > B > C > G > N > O > P. The Corps has also determined the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the Gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi), Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), Kemp’s Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), and Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). The Corps has requested the National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996. The proposal would impact 1.45 acres of estuarine intertidal and subtidal unconsolidated and vegetated bottom utilized by various life stages of 3 shark species (blacktip, bull, spinner), four shrimp species (brown, white, pink, Royal red), coastal migratory pelagic species, red drum, and 43 species of reef fish. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries. Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
NOTE: This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant. This information has not been verified or evaluated to ensure compliance with laws and regulation governing the regulatory program. The jurisdictional lines have not been verified by Corps personnel.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Pensacola Permits Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, Florida, 32502 within 21 days from the date of this notice.
The decision whether to issue or deny this permit application will be based on the information received from this public notice and the evaluation of the probable impact to the associated wetlands. This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed.
QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Holly Millsap, in writing at the Pensacola Permits Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, FL 32502, by electronic mail at Holly.M.Millsap@usace.army.mil, by facsimile transmission at (850) 433-8160, or by telephone at (850) 470-9823.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and concerned citizens generally yields pertinent environmental information that is instrumental in determining the impact the proposed action will have on the natural resources of the area.
EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including cumulative impacts thereof; among these are conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food, and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. Evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will also include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972
The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other Interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this determination, comments are used to assess impacts to endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. In Puerto Rico, a Coastal Zone Management Consistency Concurrence is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board. In the Virgin Islands, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Plan.
REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.